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Pat Toomey: Specter Betrayed the GOP

By Chris Wessling   |   Sunday, 08 Mar 2009 06:27 PM

Former Republican Rep. Pat Toomey says GOP Sens. Arlen Specter, Olympia Snowe, and Susan Collins betrayed the party when they voted to support Barack Obama's stimulus package.

“This was a shocking betrayal of a tremendous opportunity,” he told Newsmax TV. Toomey, who lost an epic 2004 Republican primary battle that Specter pulled out by a margin of just 2 percentage points, also tells Newsmax that he’s likely to mount a rematch against Specter in 2010.

"I'm giving that some very serious thought and there's a real chance I'll decide to do that,'' Toomey told Newsmax. "I think we really need people in the United States Senate who are willing to stand up and say, 'Enough of this really crazy economic policy.'"

[Editor's Note: Watch the Pat Toomey interview - Go Here Now]

Toomey, now president of the Club for Growth, pointed out that Republicans in the House were united in voting against the $787 billion stimulus plan. That empowered Republicans in the Senate to stand up to Obama to seek meaningful changes that would grow the economy, he said. But Specter, Snowe, and Collins destroyed that possibility with their votes, and Toomey believes they will be punished.

“We could've had a constructive pro-growth compromise. Instead, these guys just completely sold out, and I think ... they will inevitably face consequences,” he said.

Toomey was equally blunt when asked what would have to be done to foster an economic recovery if Obama's tax-and-spend packages aren't effective.

“Not only will they [Obama's tax-and-spend plans] not work, but they are counterproductive. And I think President Obama means well, but the policies are going to be very harmful. We can't borrow and spend our way to prosperity. We can't tax and spend our way to prosperity. And yet that's what he seems to be trying to do.”

Toomey said America needs a sense of “certainty” as it confronts the current economic upheaval.

“There's a real danger that capitalism is going to go on strike, because the capitalists don't know what the government is going to do next. And this episodic, quasi-nationalization of financial services companies, and perhaps the car companies and others, is very, very disturbing and destabilizing. So some certainty about government policy would be enormously helpful.”

Certainty about taxes also would help ease economic fears, Toomey said.

“The best thing we could do is make the 2003 tax cuts permanent,” he said. “But while we're at it, let's just eliminate capital gains taxes, and how about temporarily suspending the payroll tax?”

In the Newsmax TV interview, Toomey also said:

  • It was “very, very disappointing” that some Republicans in Congress slipped hundreds of millions of dollars worth of earmarks into the omnibus $410 billion spending bill. “We've been very critical of the Republicans who haven't understood that the unifying idea for the Republican coalition is limited government – and that has to include limiting the amount of spending, especially the wasteful spending that's really inexcusable.” He said “it shows that there's still work to be done to get Republicans in Congress to understand what it means to be a Republican.”

  • He has considered running for governor of Pennsylvania, but he thinks he can do more in the U.S. Senate.

    [Editor's Note: Watch the Pat Toomey interview - Go Here Now]

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